Things were progressing along nicely for the Pistons last night. Sure, it may speak volumes about their current status to consider “progressing along nicely” meant “tied late in the second quarter with a 4-13 opponent”, but it is what it is at this point.
Josh Smith, in particular, was having his way with the Lakers. Smith racked up 15 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists in the first half. Perhaps more importantly, the 43% free throw shooter drilled all three of his first half attempts. Maybe he’d turned a corner! Maybe this was our night!
Then Wesley Johnson happened.
With 1:05 left in the 2nd quarter, the Lakers fifth year wing exploded baseline, absorbed contact from Smith, and extended out to finish high above the rim with an impressive smash.
Johnson’s flush would ignite a 39-18 Lakers run, which would have the Pistons trailing by 21 points just 12 minutes later. They would never recover.
As for Smith, after hitting 6-9 shots in the first half, he’d connect on just 1-8 from the Johnson dunk on forward. Tuesday’s dunk marked the second time Smith has been posterized in the last week, falling victim to super rookie Jabari Parker’s exploits in a loss to the Bucks.
Sidenote, someone can be heard yelling at the top of his lungs after that Johnson’s finish; we’re going to go ahead and assume that was Carlos Boozer.